When the holidays roll around, families and stress seem to go hand-in-hand. However, by establishing a concrete routine for the mornings, you can set your whole gang up for success. Here’s essential advice for ensuring the holiday season is smooth sailing for you and yours.
Holidays and Stress
Everyone loves the idyllic version of the holiday season we all see in classic films. However, dreaming of a sentimental and relaxing celebration and living it out aren’t typically one and the same. In fact, some studies indicate 45 percent of Americans would actually prefer to skip right past the biggest holidays of the year, avoiding the drama and angst the season brings with it. Thankfully, you can help your whole family through the holidays with a few simple strategies.
Let Go of Perfection
One of the biggest obstacles to enjoying the holiday season is perfectionism. You might not even realize you’re hanging onto unrealistic expectations, but you might be putting pressure on yourself to find the “perfect” gifts, bake the “perfect” holiday desserts, decorate a “perfect” tree, have the house looking “perfect” for your guests — well, you get the picture. Instead, focus on making memories. Enjoy your children, sing some carols, let the kids put together the tree, and play silly holiday games. If guests are coming and you can squeeze it into your budget, hire a cleaning service to cut time and energy spent on chores, which will be better spent doing other things. What’s more, it also improves your family’s efficiency in the morning. Just keep in mind that the national average to hire a professional cleaning service ranges from $116 to $235.
Steady on Through Special Times
Time away from school, work, and other commitments can often mean your family members end up with schedules that are all over the place. Sleeping late, eating at odd times, and rushing to your obligations can lead to feeling harried and off-kilter. According to experts at Utah State University Extension, simply establishing a solid routine and sticking with it can help every member of your family feel better, from the youngest to oldest — including yourself. Setting expectations can help everyone feel prepared and provides a sense of control, which reduces stress and anxiety and eases any sense of confusion.
While the holidays can be more relaxed than other times of the year, prioritizing normal sleeping and eating habits can help body rhythms remain the same, lowering strain physically and mentally. Real Simple recommends hanging onto some other basic practices as well, such as brushing and flossing teeth. It’s a great way to reinforce what’s important for your kids’ health.
Hone in on Unhealthy Choices
Holiday celebrations often include indulgences. While you want everyone in your family to enjoy the season, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Keep in mind that your family members need good sleep in order to stick to the morning regimen, and it’s important for adults in the family to stay on track as well as the kids. Similarly, when it comes to special snacks and drinks, pay attention to how much you and your children consume, especially later in the day. Sugary foods and beverages, caffeine, and alcohol can all wreak havoc with sleep habits. If you’re looking for festive nibbles that won’t interfere with sleep, Reader’s Digest recommends foods such as walnuts, cheese and crackers, pretzels, hummus, and cereal.
When the holidays are coming close, it’s more important than ever to reinforce good habits in your family members. Clarify priorities and stick to a strong morning regimen. With a healthy plan in place, you and your loved ones can enjoy the holiday season with good cheer.
About the Author:
Daniel is a single dad raising two children. At DadSolo.com, he aims to provide other single dads with information and resources to help them better equip themselves on the journey that is parenthood.